GCU engine room ticks over
Gold Coast United's strikers may have been working overtime in recent weeks but the man who's been feeding them, Dutchman Bas van den Brink, says they need to turn it on again this Sunday against Melbourne Victory.
Gold Coast United's strikers may have been working overtime in recent weeks but the man who's been feeding them, Dutchman Bas van den Brink, says they need to turn it on again this Sunday against Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park with finals football fast approaching.
Since the return of Shane Smeltz, the Glitter Strip club have turned potent in attack, with the Kiwi striking up a partnership with Bruce Djite that has yielded eight goals between them in the past three games. Add to the woes for backlines across the Hyundai A-League, Joel Porter is also now back to full fitness.
But one of their main suppliers, van den Brink has quietly gone about his business in the Gold Coast engine room, laying on goal after goal and with German import Peter Perchtold settling in alongside him, he says there is much more to come.
"It's a good thing for Bruce that Shane is back because defenders have to focus on both of them and he is getting more space and chances to score. With Ports coming back, we've got some great possibilities to score goals. They've been great for us in the past few weeks," van den Brink said.
"Peter and I had to get used to each other a little bit but we've got a good understanding. He's an intelligent player and it's always easy to play with those type of footballers. He reads the game really well and he's got good skills so that puts him one step ahead of other players."
"There's no more jetlag for him and he's getting used to the place and the way we are playing and the league, so I expect he'll be better and better."
United will need to turn it on against the Victory if they are to make any headway into second spot, with just five games left to play in the season - three of which are against the top three sides in the competition.
Van den Brink - who will move to K-League side Busan I'Park at the end of the season - is hopeful his side can keep the ball and frustrate not only their opposition, but the notoriously vocal crowd that spurs them on.
"We have to play our normal possession game and stay easy and relaxed and comfortable on the ball. If we can do that and not get stressed by the crowd or them going hard on us, we could grab a win. But we have to be confident in our own abilities," he said.
"Just like us they need to win, so it's going to be a difficult reception and they will go full on. We have to give exactly the same to them. "
"Hopefully if we play well and they play badly, the crowd will be on our side even if they don't know it. If we keep the ball, we can hopefully turn the crowd a bit negative towards the Victory."